Good Samaritan Rescues Man Amid Rising Colo. Waters

By ABC News

Aug 12, 2013 8:48am

A Good Samaritan rescued a 70-year-old man trapped on a highway amid fierce floods that have already killed at least one person in Manitou Springs, Colo.

Glenn Dotson was driving on Highway 24 in Manitou Springs Friday when a wall of water came gushing down the road and trapped him inside his vehicle. Dotson decided to abandon his car and jump into the flood waters in an attempt to save his life.

“Walls of mud and water just came right at me. Then the next thing I knew the cars were flying past me. I had a pickup just barely miss me. It looked like one of them was going to hit me for sure,” Dotson said.

ABC water rescue dm 130812 16x9 608 Good Samaritan Rescues Man Amid Rising Colo. Waters

Severe flooding in Manitou Springs, Colo., forced  drivers to quickly abandon their vehicles. ABC News photo.

Dotson’s decision to jump into the rising waters could have proved deadly until Ben Tilghman, who also got stuck on Highway 24, came to Dotson’s aid and helped him to safety.

“[Dotson] was in shock, so being a medic I know that you talk them down,” Tilghman said. “We’re together. We’re not going to get out of my car until it’s time and I’m going to take care of you.”

The men eventually made it to safety but on that same highway, the body of John Collins, 53, was found buried under debris. His vehicle was found further down the road, police said. Authorities are searching for one other person who is unaccounted for.

Video and photos of Manitou Springs after the furious flood waters rushed through showed streets caked in mud with cars strewn haphazardly.

Manitou Springs was burned by the Waldo Canyon Fire last year, which destroyed more than 18,000 acres and killed two people. Areas burned by wildfires are vulnerable to flash floods because the charred soils don’t absorb as much water.

This was the third flash flood to hit Manitou Springs this season as more than an inch of rain fell in 40 minutes.

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